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thunderous explosions marking a new chapter in the fight for libya. coalition planes and missiles now backing up international demands for a cease-fire. moammar gadhafi, remaining defiant. also arc voiding further nuclear disaster in japan. pressure subsiding in one of the
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volatile reactors, and the government is telling the people, don't panic about radiation levels in food. from the cnn center in atlanta, hello to you, all, on this sunday. i'm t.j. holmes. we want to say hello to my colleague in london, richard quest. hello. >> a very good morning to you. i'm richard quest in the uk. we would like to welcome viewers, not only in the united states, but around the world. cnn's special coverage will continue. >> good to partner with you this morning, libya. we want to start with the coalition might being brut to bear on libya. missiles and planes streaking through the sky, pounding critical targets on the ground. it's called operation odyssey dawn. the main components right now are american and british cruise
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missiles and coalition airplanes. the bulk of more than 100 missiles fired at strategiic ta guess came from the american navy. u.s. president obama who was in brazil for trade discussions talked about the discussion to take military action. >> the u.s. of force is not our first choice. and it's not a choice i make lightly. but we cannot stand idly by when a tyrant tells his people there will be no mercy. >> to take a look now at this map. this gives you an idea of where coalition strikes were aimed. also the areas of the no fly zone. the main areas are interest are been goes benghazi and the heart of tripoli. moammar gadhafi addressed his people and the world, saying
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libya will wipe out the aggressors from the united states, britain and france. >> we will be victorious, achieve victory on behalf of the people. we have allah with us. you have the devil on your side. what right have you got to attack our people? who gave you that right? who are you? you backward barbaries. this is an aggression that has no justification. this atrocity. we will hold to our land, to our rights. we will fight inch by inch. this land has been stained with t the plod of our people, our
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leaders, our forefathers. >> now take a lock at images being broadcast on libyan state tv. they claim the strikes claimed numerous civilians, saying the victims were mostly religious clerics, women and children. there is no way to independently confirm those statements. we heard some of what's going on in tripoli a moment ago. some of that coming from cnn's senior international correspondent nic robertson who joins me live from tripoli. we need to start with this morning's and today's events. are you still hearing anti aircraft fire there? >> reporter: richard, we're not. that subsided in the night after the missile attacks started around 2:30, 2:40 in the month. now, the city sounds quite
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quiet. traffic out on the roads. certainly no sounds of missiles or gunfire. richard. >> and the libyan claims about mass civilian casualties. i understand it's very difficult to get independent confirmation, but how likely is that claim? >> it's hard to say. certainly the targets that we've been told about were military targets. that's what we've seen, and there's always the possibility of damage and civilian casualties. last night state television showed pictures of people protecting -- as state television called it protecting certain sites, the palace compound. we went over there and 1,000 people were clustered and climbing around that very golden fist clutching the american
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fighter aircraft. you can can see during the speech moammar was giving. they were at the international airport, another airport. so if people had been around some of the other potential cites sites, then obviously it is possible. what we saw on state television about an hour after the bombings around tripoli, we saw some army officers in a hospital with doctors visiting some wounded men who seem to be of military age. a couple appeared to have green old you have olive uniforms. one appeared to have a very serious head wound. other had lighter wounds. they said they still supported moammar gadhafi. they say 100% support for gadhafi. another said we will be victorious.
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the pictures on state television also included bodies, 12 bodies wrapped in white shrouds, but so far, pictures they have shown are military age men. >> briefly, nic, how would you gauge the mood has shifted in tripoli? now that the bombing has begun? >> reporter: well, i would say it shifted quite firmly, and the elements that we see, which are the pro-government elements. shifted quite firmly against the international community and to the point of sort of government type rallies if you will against the journalists and people last night here, who believe international journalists are spreading lies. and they only watch state television because that's the only thing they believe. i would say the mood that we detect is stiffening and resolving behind moammar gadhafi. what is interesting about his
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speech this is a man not afraid of television cameras, not afraid of being seen on television, not afraid of talking to crowds and rallying them. not afraid of being seen. the speech, we don't see him. we see that golden fist crushing the u.s. fighter jet. it rather gives the impression he doesn't want to give any clues where he is, richard. >> nic robertson in tripoli this morning, thank you. the united states is playing a major part in operation odyssey dawn. several american ships and submarines were launching pads for those cruise missiles. sandra endo at the pentagon today. we have seen in particular france take the lead when it comes to fighter jets and aircraft being in the skies above libya any word when u.s. airplanes might be playing more of a vital role in this mission? >> absolutely, t.j. new this morning, we can tell you 19 u.s. warplanes were
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involved in an overnight strike operation according to the u.s. command in africa and involved in the operation, we understand are three b-2 stealth bombers, four marine corps harrier jets, four u.s. f-15s, and eight u.s. f-16s. this is a major new offensive in this operation. as we understand right now, no more cruise missiles launched overnight this is day two of t operation, which the mission is to basically get rid of and disable libya's air defense system this is step two of what we saw on saturday where american and british ships and submarines fired more than 110 tomahawk missiles and about 20 libyan targets were, in fact, hit. they are assessing the damage right now and this is all basically targets on the western portion on the coast of libya.
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now, we're hearing from libyan leader moammar gadhafi, defiant words, saying they will respond to this "naked aggression" and it will be a lock, drawn-out war. despite the tough talk, president obama says he believes u.s. involvement will be limited and last only a few days. t.j. >> back to those u.s. warplanes involved, what has been their primary function as we understand? they could be patrolling the skies, trying to enforce the no-fly zone or be used to strike some of those targets on the ground? do we have a good handle on exactly what they had been doing? >> we're not sure what kind of ammunition and what kind of artillery they used overnight in these strikes. we know that the mission, though, keep in mind, to disable air defense systems and ensure the no-fly zone will be safe. that other missions involved will make sure that these
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military -- not just the u.s., but also coalition forces will be safe to fly over. that is the main target. they are also thinking about trying to disable communications as well on the ground in libya. you're talking about a leader who is basically savvy and is trying to move a lot of his resources and force it into major cities. the u.s. and coalition forces do not want to target, of course, innocent civilians. that will be a challenge, looking ahead. >> sandra endo, from the pentagon today. we appreciate you as always. thank you. his defiance led to strikes against his country. now moammar gadhafi is criticizing arab leaders for doing nothing to stop it. reaction from the arab world, straight ahead this is cnn. making your craving for a sweet & salty bar irresistible,
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these are pictures of the sky over tripoli. a few hours ago. we heard the blasts of anti aircraft fire, the explosions on the ground and the familiar sight of tracer fire going into the sky. cnn's correspondents as you would expect, are monitoring the situation not only in libya, in various places, butted also in other parts of the arab world. globally to keep you updated on the latest developments, t.j. >> richard, operation odyssey
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dawn is the biggest military operation in the middle east for the u.s. in eight years. libya is backed by the arab lead. we are live from abu dhabi and cairo, egypt. reza, they saw their own uprising in egypt not too terribly long ago. how are they viewing thing there in egypt as they watch their neighbor have uprising of its own, but, still, here comes military and international intervention into that conflict? >> reporter: in the streets of egypt there, is broad support for this no-fly zone, as long as it's designed to end bloodshed and end the loss of innocent civilians. as far as egyptian military itself goes, they have taken an
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active role in the last 24 hours in the lejs xwij immetation of zone. don't look for to us take part in the implementation of it. it's not clear if any arab nation will take an active role or a symbolic role. even so, you see the u.s., france, the uk, over the past 24 hours, make every effort to convey to the world. emphasize to the world this is not a western-only operation against libya. that this is a broad-based coalition, including arab nations that are taking part in this no-fly zone. if you look at the past 24 hours, a very aggressive start. the implementation of the no-fly zone, you've seen the actibsencf any active role of any arab nations. hillary clinton named a number
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of arab nations that took part in a summit in paris. but when asked which countries would be involved, clinton answered that that was up to them. >> you heard reza talk about symbolically supporting that no-fly zone is that the sense you're getting as well. many arab states may not really necessarily really get their hands and get dirty, if you will, into this conflict in libya? >> reporter: well, t.j., we're still trying to sort all of that out the gulf cooperation council are a tight-lipped bunch. they haven't given any indication of what role they will play. we know the united arab emirates and qatar said they would take part in this force. we have not been able to reach officials to find out when that
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will be or where planes will be based, but i spoke to military analysts yesterday and today. they believe that the uae is fully capable of sending planes by the uk, france, and u.s. they can certainly support the operation, and they believe qatar as well, would play a smaller role, possibly more humanitarian in aid in the no-fly zone enforcement. >> what is the risk for qatar and any other arab nation to play that kind of active role and send their own warplanes to patrol over the skies and even possibly strike some targets in libya? >> well, the thing that's different about qatar and the uae when you talk about them taking part in this, you're not seeing mass protests in those two countries, in the uae or t qatar. also, the gcc and the arab
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league came out quite early and said they backed a no-fly zone, backed the creations of the. and all of the leaders are not friendly toward gadhafi. what you are seeing play out in the arab media is really support for this. that's not a surprise. arab leaders have said they are supporting a no-fly zone. what is being reported is this is strictly what's going on. have you monarchs supporting an action behind rebels in that country trying to take out a dictator. how it will play out in the long term, we're not sure. everybody right now firmly behind it. >> mohammed jamjoon and reporter reza thank you. >> just after midday in libya at the moment. and on a sunday, we need to hear from people in the various parts of the country. and an eyewitness joins me from
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misrata. with reports of gunfire. for obvious reasons, we're not naming who we are about to talk to let's test the connection first. can you hear me, sir? >> yes, i can, yes. >> good morning to you. good afternoon. and what are you experiencing? what noise, what gunfire? anything taking place? >> misrata is being raped to the ground, sir. very, very heavy shelling. we have hearing it seems like cluster bombs very heavy and clearly artillery. the gadhafi military is fighting on the city from all directions and they are trying to hit and have managed to hit some public installations in the name of some fuel stations and a power station and they have tried to hit the port of misrata and the
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iron and steel factory. they are trying to give the sbrnt community strikes a bad name, saying that they have strikes that hit public installations and civilians, and misrata is being raped to the ground as we speak. >> when i spoke yesterday, we knew that there was gadhafi trips on the outskirts. what are you suggesting this morning or saying outright there, is a massive he escalation in the bombardment of misrata? >> absolutely. they are destroying misrata, lashing out big time. >> what's the purpose of that? we know benghazi remains in
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rebel strong hold control. what is the purpose of this attack per se if you like on misrata? >> he is prosecuting the people of misrata. he is going all out to destroy it, and he's trying to make it look like that the international forces are hitting civilians . >> and is that -- >> he's bringing war -- the people of misrata. >> is there any evidence that you can see of allied coalition forces or air raids or any form of activity fighting back against the gadhafi forces this morning? >> yes, we heard the strikes. the missiles that landed in the -- where the gadhafi militias are stationed. we heard heavy bomb bartdment last night, and people were
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relieved to see those strikes. but we called up on the international community to take urgent action and to take them out. >> thank you, sir. we'll talk to you again in the hours ahead. one of the residents of misrata, obviously since we're not identifying this morning. we'll catch up and find out more in the hours ahead. as we continue our coverage, another major story that cnn is in detailed coverage of. the long road ahead in japan. still cleaning up after the earthquake and tsunami that devastated parts of the country. fighting to prevent a nuclear meltdown, and the number of dead and missing just passed 20,000. we'll take you to japan after the break. this is cnn. ♪ hello sunshine, sweet as you can be ♪
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we do want to turn to what we have been watching in japan. around the clock efforts to prevent a complete nuclear meltdown at the fukushima nuclear plant. good news to report today. doesn't seem like there's been a whole lot of that. but there is now. the pressure in nuclear reactor number three has stabilized. they had planned to reduce pressure by intentionally releasing nuclear gas, but now they may not have to that's we are being told for now. the number three reactor is one of six where workers are working to prevent a meltdown. every day now in this disaster brings a new human toll from the quake and the tsunami. the latest for you now. more than 8,200 dead. more than 12,000 -- excuse me, 1,200 missing.
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those numbers surely expected to rise. again, 12,000 still missing and people in one area say there may be up to 15,000 more bodies in that one region alone. the government says it will decide monday whether to ban the consumption and shipment of agricultural products from the area near the plant. high levels of radiation have been found in spinach and milk from near the plant. relieving the pressure from radioactive reactor 3 means there won't be nuclear gas released now. brian joins me. as we look at the plants and getting the cooling system working again, whether it's the pumps or the cooling water from fire engines, is the situation stabilizing? >> reporter: i don't think you can say that, richard.
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it's too inconsistent to call it stable right now. the number three reactor has been too problematic for too long, since the tsunami hit. right now, they are monitoring it. the pressure as you and t.j. just mentioned has been alleviated naturally. so they didn't have to open up any holes in the thing to let pressure out which would have let hydrogen gas out, possibly some radioactive material there. that would have been a bad situation, but relieved the pressure. and the pressure did stabilize, receded. they don't have to do that for now. that could change at any moment. number three is where the exposed fuel rods are. the reactor really heating up and they have scrambled to try and cool that thing down. yesterday, we got good news that the tenuous piping in of the sea water they have been doing through the fire trucks had worked yesterday, had cooled the building down. had near zero levels of radiation detected at some point
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yesterday. that was good news. but right after that the pressure went up. that particular reactor, number three, a real problem. i wouldn't say by any means it has completely stabilized yet. >> one report i heard overnight suggests they could end up with makeshift pumping arrangements using the fire trucks and other methods and this could last for weeks, if not longer. any credence to that thought? >> they don't really talk about timetables here, because i think they don't want to get people kind of in a mind-set to train that far ahead on this thing. but you're right, richard. trying all sorts of different methods. one of the things they are using to pump sea water, is a truck with a large crane on it. same mechanism they use to put out fires and skyscrapers, literally trying to bring in any possible innovation here, but
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not really projecting when they think this thing will be stabilized and really focused on the number three reactor. we did get good news, electi electricity hooked up successfully to the number two reactor and when it's hooked up successfully, might be able to pump in water using that. trying to get electricity hooked up toward the other reactors which would go a long way to stabilizing this thing. >> in tokyo, cnn's brian todd, thank you. france and britain taking a lead role in the air strikes against libya. we'll go to paris for european reaction on the efforts to cripple moammar gadhafi. it has 35% of your daily value of fiber. tasty fiber, that's a good one! ok, her mind. [ male announcer ] fiber one chewy bars. here's the truth.
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the coalition military might being brought to bear on libya, and the defiant regime of moammar gadhafi. it's been dubbed operation odyssey dawn. main components are american and
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british cruise missiles and coalition airplanes. the bulk of more than 100 missiles fired came from u.s. navy warships and submarines in the mediterranean. they are targeting anti aircraft missile sites controlled by gadhafi this gives you an idea of where the coalition strikes were aimed. main areas of interest are benghazi and the capital of tripoli. and the libyan leader, moammar gadhafi addressed the world saying all of libya will revolt and wipe out aggressors from the united states, britain and france. take a listen. >> this is an aggression that has no justification. this is -- this atrocity. we will hold to our land. to our rights. we will fight, inch by inch. >> now take a look at the images being broadcast on libyan state
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television. libyan government claping the strikes killed numerous civilians and they said the victims were mostly women, children, and religious leaders. they took the death toll at around 50. as i now bring back in my colleague from cnn international in london this morning, richard quest. as we know, it is pretty much impossible to confirm numbers and images we are seeing right now. >> yeah, and t.j., i'm getting information now about the uk military forces that were deployed. cnn's jim baldwin is telling us four british tornadoes that participated in the activity. they left from the uk and it was an eight-hour round trip journey from the uk to libya and back. they were refueled and more than 60 tons of fuel were -- was discharged during that
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operation. it's believed by the british military that this is the furthest they have flown since the falkans war in the 1980s. the decisions to strike libya came after high-level meetings on saturday. they laid out the plan to enforce the u.n. resolution 1973, which authorized the use of force and called for a cease-fire. the eu are now playing a major role. jim bittermann is in paris for us today. and joins me now. jim, they were very quick, particularly the frenc who no soon eer had the meeting ended than their trips were in the sky. >> the reconnaissance aircraft took off two hours before the meeting even started yesterday. from french bases, so it took a
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while to get over libya. basically, they did the same thing the brits did, fly from french bases, however, they are rebasing their aircraft down in coursica, which will make round trip as a lot shorter. able to do what apparently is going to be the french role. not really being very specific about this over defense ministry. but the frnch role will be close air support around the benghazi area. taking out artillery or armored vehicles that appear over there, and appear likely to auto tack in benghazi. this morning, according to reports from various news agencies, there were burned out vehicles along the main road out of benghazi and appeared to have been multiple rocket launcher types of vehicles that were destroyed. it's unclear, but the french have said they have destroyed a number of libyan army vehicles. richard. >> jim, the united states has
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made it clear, hillary clinton, president obama, that they will be involved in this, and they will throw u.s. assets and resources, but they do not want the leadership role as sufficient. they are not leading the way. does that mean that the europeans, particularly the french, are in a position to take that leadership? >> reporter: well, i think they already took it, richard, actually. from the beginning, the french have been out in front. and the brits right behind, basically with the idea they thought something should be done, insisted something should be done, and at first washington was recalcitrant, and it was a change of heart by hillary clinton that convinced obama to go along with the growing movement, solidified yesterday with the meeting here. it was put together very quickly, so quickly i don't think french public opinion was adequately prepared for this. a lot of people i think have
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been caught offguard with the extent to which the french military has been involved. like i say, even the military were nighing these planes off bases from france rather than bases down in parts -- of course, part of france, like southern bases like coursica, where they would have been closer to scenes of the action. >> ken bitterman, thank you. the u.s. and its allies threw an awesome arsenal of military assets together against libya the past 24 hours. when we come back, an in-depth look at the libyan targets in the crosshairs this is cnn. [ male announcer ] nature valley
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back to the situation in libya, where we are hearing that american warplanes are taking part in operations over libya right now, and that includes stealth bombers which are attacking critical targets inside the country. cnn's chief national correspondent john king take as a closer look at how operation odyssey dawn started and crucially why specific targets have been chosen. >> it is called operation odyssey dawn, and the initial targets, mostly along the northern libyan coastline. why? those are the major cities, major gas supplies. the reasons they were along the coast in the early days this is where moammar gadhafi has his most powerful weaponry. the purple circle, s-200. s-5, and russian made, surface to air missiles, and those were the biggest targets in the initial strikes and will continue to be targeted.
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the smaller circles, other surface to air missiles, and gadhafi has at his disposal. those are the targets early on. they were targeted -- first, some firing from french fighter jets. most of this was done. the bulk done using cruise missiles. they came from offshore, the "uss florida," "uss scranton." three subs that carry tomahawks, and u.s. some ships taking place from the mediterranean. you can see this photo from the "u snch sncss barry." it flies low to the ground. a newer version has an optics package. it can hover over a target. that is an option that could be used heading forward.
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again, the cruise missiles came from the barry and the stout, but other ships in the mediterranean. an amphibious assault ship. under no circumstances would troops go on shore. and very important in the early days of the operation, and the amphibious operation. helps support the operation. those are among the u.s. ships, canadian, british ships in the area. and in the days ahead, a french carrier is coming in. those french jets that launched the first strikes came from up here and this is the libyan coast right down in here this is where the operation will be run from in the days ahead. a number of nato and u.s. installations in italy. a u.s. navial air station. this is where assets will be coordinated in the days ahead. operations will continue, especially targeting along the coast in the early days and then when the no-fly zone kicks in, not only will the united states,
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canada, spain, france, italy, and great britain take part, we're told to look for qatar to use their air force to help enforce that no-fly zone over libya. >> we want to bring you a development that we are just getting in here at cnn. according to afp, a news source. they are saying at least 94 people have been killed in the assault launched on the rebel strong hold city of benghazi. we were telling you what was happening in agabenghazi. our reporter was causilling thin assault. according to afp, 94 people killed in an assault over the past couple of days. this, getting from people who work at the hospitals in that area, but correspondents from afp reporting that 94 people killed. we are working to get
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confirmation of that number. very difficult to get accurate reporting. some areas trying to move around. and we do have resources and reporters on the ground working to confirm information. we want to talk strategy with what's going on right now. no-fly zone and strikes we have been seeing. we want to talk about it with retired military general wesley clark. current senior fellow at the center for international relations. general, good to have you with us. let's start with what we just heard. that report of 94 people killed in benghazi is there so much -- is there only so much that air strikes and a no fly zone can do? only so much the coalition will be able to do to protect citizens from the air? >> yes, from are limits probably. we haven't hit those limits yet. this strike on benghazi, probably a reconnaissance probe, probably an advanced element of
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gadhafi's forces. we were first hearing forces were stationary, about 60 miles west of benghazi. next thing we knew, there were tanks coming into benghazi. probably a reconnaissance element, the old soviet doctrine that we believe libyans were trained in. they would have put a probe in, either tanks got knocked out or pulled back. it wasn't a serious sustained effort. and it was after that effort began that the french came in and struck the libyan tanks, and so thus far, we're not hearing of more conflict in benghazi today, and so thus far, that french action was successful in dissuading an attack on the early morning hours of sunday. >> so far in benghazi, a place of much action in the past two days as we know before the air strikes before the coalition began. also, are you seeing this play out with this no-fly zone and the strikes that have been
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taking place? is this how it works? you take out those targets you have identified. step back and do an assessment and then are they deciding right now what they need to go back in and hit again? >> they are collecting information, and they want to figure out whether they have taken down all of the lock-range high-speed missiles so they can put up unmanned aerial vehicles and fly with impunity over libyan air space. they can have eyes on the ground from over libyan air space to supplement other overhead assets. so we want to get a complete reconnaissance picture. so they are looking at it, watching it this morning. they can make another round of strikes during the day today, if that's taken down, or they may wait until eight hours of darkness to make another round of strikes. meanwhile, should action take place around benghazi, i'm sure the french will be prepared to
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go back in there as they did yesterday, even before the complete no-fly zone is put into place by the coalition. >> general, do you have any kind of time table in your own mind of how much -- i guess a clock that might be ticking down. how much time you need to take to take out gadhafi's forces and those -- and some of those specific targets there before he is able to regroup or at least have the appearance of having some kind of a victory to the world community? >> well, most of these radar sites and missile sites are fixed. some are mobile. the fixed sites, you can hit them again and again and they will be gone. then it depends on what degree of risk you are willing to take. mobile assets they can be effective from 20,000 to 30,000 feet in altitude above the battle field.
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they will constitute air risk, even if they are able to displace radar from the acquiring missile. it can be done with advanced fiber optics technology. a little bit of a cat and mouse game. we're not quite sure everything he might have, and he's not quite sure everything we might do, and so we start with the no-risk measures like the tomahawk missiles and gradually escalate the risks. a day, two days, three days at most, and i suspect we'll be flying completely with impunity over libya. >> general wesley clark, always good to have your expertise. he'll be here the next several hours as we continue our breaking coverage. general, we appreciate you. thank you so much. a quick break here on cnn, and we will be right back. my diet? well yesterday i had an apple turnover.
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i always keep it in the house. that and boston crème pie, white chocolate strawberries. [ female announcer ] yoplait light -- over 30 delicious flavors at about 100 calories. babe, what are you doing?! ♪ a body at rest tends to stay at rest... while a body in motion tends to stay in motion. staying active can actually ease arthritis symptoms. but if you have arthritis, staying active can be difficult. prescription celebrex can help relieve arthritis pain
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get help right away if you have swelling of the face or throat, or trouble breathing. tell your doctor your medical history and find an arthritis treatment for you. visit and ask your doctor about celebrex. for a body in motion. now to japan, ken tanaka is a cnn reporter in yokohama. he shot video of the disaster as it happened. and ken joins us live from kyoto, and it's been several days obviously since the disaster, so we ned to check in with you, see how you are doing. >> all is well now. the ripple effect is starting to effect a lot of japan outside of the affected areas. even in kyoto, 500 miles away,
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we're starting to feel the effects of no food, a shortage of gas. batteries sold out. toiletries sold out, and even my cousin runs a bed and breakfast, there are a lot of people canceling reservations to visit japan at the moment. >> and when these aftershocks and there have been more than 1,000. when they hit, obviously that just continues the disturbance and the terror for you? >> right. that's -- one of the main reasons i left yokohama region, it's hard to keep your mind off things, when on top of all of the thing s mentioned, you are feeling aftershocks every ten minutes. some are pretty severe, 6.0s, legitimate earthquake, you know. a couple times i had my -- my foundation was literally, you
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know, cracked and my apartment is kind of to the side, which -- it doesn't make me feel safer in my apartment. >> ken, many thanks for joining us from kyoto. ken tanaka joining us now. >> the libyan people caught in the middle of operation odyssey dawn. we'll hear the latest as our special coverage continues. -- captions by vitac -- set it in motion... and it goes out into the world like fuel for the economy. one opportunity leading to another... and another. we all have a hand in it. because opportunity can start anywhere, and go everywhere. let's keep it moving. ♪
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the next chapter in the war in libya is being written with coalition planes and missiles. now, backing up international demands for a cease-fire. american planes engining coalition partners dropping bombs on critical targets. and moammar gadhafi, standing tough. defiant as always and threatening payback and says western aggressors won't get their hands on his oil. from the cnn center in atlanta. hello to you all, i'm t. jrchl holmes. richard, hello to you. >> good day to you, t.j.
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from london, i'm richard quest. we welcome viewers from the united states and around the world to cnn's special coverage. we need to start with missiles and planes streaking through the sky over libya. pounding targets critical to moammar gadhafi's efforts to stay in power. has been dubbed operation odyssey dawn. coalition forces are targeting anti aircraft and missile sites controlled by gadhafi. take a look at the map. gives you an idea of where the coalition strikes were aimed. one of the main areas of interest, benghazi, the heart of the operation movement. been the sight of heavy fighting. afp is now reporting that 94 people were killed in fighting there since a new assault was launched two days ago by
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gadhafi's forces. meanwhile, moments ago moammar gadhafi addressed his people and had a message for the world as well. saying all of libya will revolt and wipe out the aggressors from the united states, britain and france. >> we will achieve victory. we have allah with us. you have the devil on your side. what right have you got to attack our people? who gave that you right? who are you? you backward barbarians. this is an aggression that has no justification. there is -- this atrocity. we will hold to our land. to our rights. we will fight, inch by inch.
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this land has been stained with the blood of our people, our leaders, our forefathers. >> we believe that is the voice, part of the rhetoric from moammar gadhafi. we haven't been able to confirm that was him actually speaking. nic robertson is monitoring the situation in the capital, tripoli, and nic is with me now. we're told it was gadhafi. we can't confirm that. but what do you make about his threats that he's been offering up this morning? >> he is digging in, rallying the people behind him, and this is what pretty much everyone expected and certainly what libya is expecting. this is a man that held onto power for 41 years.
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has rallied his people around him, rallied his country around him, saying we are the victims and victims are always victorious. >> nic, it will not be lost -- >> if the men were to be killed, the women will take over. we will hold the green flag high. they must know today it is a confrontation between the libyan people and america, france, and prit britain. all of the women are ready today to be martyrs. but we will -- we will be victorious and you will be defeated. >> and he goes on to say that the libyan people have not only
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the asian people behind them, african people, people from the middle east, even from europe. so what we make of what he's saying here, he is trying to build an image of himself and the country under justified attack. and let his country know they have support way beyond his borders. obviously, there will be many people here in libya who don't particularly trust that message, but there will also be a large number of people who will believe that and listen to them, and that's what he is counting on, building that base at this time. >> and the activity that's taking place this morning. there are reports we know of very heavy fighting, from the libyan forces in misrata. are you hearing or seeing evidence of coalition allied mean s overhead?
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>> if there are overhead, we're not able to see or hear them. it would appear that neither of the libyan air defense systems able to see or hear them. the reports we get from misrata, about 120 miles east of here, about two to three hours' drive and we coan't independently confirm the reports. and the way state media deals with the reports, it says reports are lies and can't be trusted. and certainly the libyan government is not telling us right now what its military forces are doing inside misrata this was a pocket of armed opposition holding out against the government here for the last three or four weeks. and we certainly know the government -- the government forces had them surrounded over the past few weeks and we understood they were launching an operation there. but we haven't been able to go there in the past three weeks. we don't have an independent
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analysis of what's happening there today, richard. but certainly it is one could expect coalition forces to be moving to assist the operation and defense. >> nic robertson in the libyan capital of tripoli, thank you. >> richard, initially in the operation odyssey dawn, we were hearing about french and british planes above the skies of libya. we're hearing more about the united states' role now. maybe getting more involved than initially thought. moving beyond firing cruise missiles from navy ships in the mediterranean. sandra endofrom the pentagon, hello to you once again. first, we just heard about other countries and their planes. but we're, in fact, hearing the u.s. does have and did have planes in the air. >> absolutely, strchlt j. we know this morning that 19 u.s. warplanes constructed strike operations overnight. and this is according to a spokesperson from u.s. africa command who says the operations
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included three b-2 stealth bombers, as well as four marine corps harrier jets that took off from "uss kersarge." we know the mission was initially to target those air defense systems and disable them in libya. also, this operation includes many f-15 and f-16 jets as well. we're hearing from the british memb ministry defense that four jets were involved. we know no more cruise missiles launched overnight. american and british troops, as you mentioned on ships and submarines fired more than 110 tomahawk missiles and pentagon officials say around 20 targets in libya hit off the western coast. >> at this point, we're creating the conditions to be able to set
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up the no-fly zone and once we have established and confirmed the conditions are right, then we will move forward into the next -- one of the next phases of the campaign. >> beyond dropping bombs, t.j., the u.s. is engaging in electronic warfare as well. they are launching devices that disable the electronic signals looking for carriers and electronic defense systems as well. two-pronged approach. moammar gadhafi remains defiant, saying they will respond to this "naked aggression." now, despite the tough talk, president obama yesterday ensured everyone saying that this is not going to be a long-term military offensive by the u.s. but only limited to a few days. t.j. >> all right. sandra endo, for us, from the pentagon, we appreciate you as
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always. richard. >> t.j., operation odyssey dawn that you have been talking about, ironically began on the eighth anniversary of the u.s. invasion of iraq. but in this instance, the arab league is supporting the military intervention. the support is by no means unanimous, but the fact that it is there is significant, nonetheless. in cairo, this morning, we find reza sayah, who joins us live. egypt, noticeably absent. the recent history of losing hosni mubarak a few weeks ago. why is egypt not part of or taking part in support of this? >> reporter: egyptian military officials came out and said we support this no-fly zone, but said unequivocally, they
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wouldn't be involved in the implementation. they just went through their own dramatic uprising to topple the mubarak regime. they are busy stabilizing this country. just yesterday, they had a critical nationwide referendum, buried in the news headlines by the way because of the events in libya and japan. this is a country who has its plate very full with its own internal issues. egyptian officials have been helping with humanitarian issues. a witness telling us over the past 4 hours, more civilians coming across the border, many of them injured. look for egypt to continue to help with those efforts. they say they won't be involved with the implementation of the no-fly zone. based on what we've seen over the first 24 hours of the no-fly
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zone, based on the information we have, no arab has been involved in the initial stage. that could change with subsequent stages in the coming days or could be an indication of what's to come. this could be a symbolic role played by arab nations as opposed to a more active, operational role. >> reza, you would agree that there would certainly be a large cadre of arab nations that will shed no tears if and when gadhafi goes. >> there is no question about it. look, this no-fly zone would not have happened without the endorsement of the arab league. the block of 22 arab nations. you recall it was last saturday, that the arab league voted unanimously to support a no-fly zone. they pushed the u.n. security council. again, the question is, what kind of role are these arab nations going to actively play
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in implementation. yesterday, the u.s. secretary of state hillary clinton mentioned a number of arab nations that were participating in a summit in paris, but when asked what role they will play, they said that's something they will have to announce themselves of if you look at some of these arab nations, for example, united arab emirates have the capability to help, a very modern and large cleanup. a tough call for them. if they take part actively in the no-fly zone, they have to answer some very difficult questions. on one hand, they would be helping opposition rebels in libya. when you look at what's happening in bahrain, they are helping out the government there against rebel forces there, so they would be presented with some tough questions. if they do, indeed participate, richard. >> reza sayah in cairo, thank you. >> we want to bring you now something we haven't been able to do that often out of japan. bring you good news.
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according to the red cross there, two survivors have been found now in debris. we're seeing some video of it here now. but we have confirmed here at cnn, in fact, they had been trapped in their house for some nine days. you know that earthquake hit on march 11th, two fridays ago now, and the search had been going on for survivors, any survivors, some had been found. still over 10,000 people still missing. an 8 1-year-old grandmother and her 16-year-old grandson found and alive. able to survive all this time and have been rescued. video we are seeing of the rescues taking place. we do not at this point know the condition of the two. we're working to get information on that. but it has been really a three-pronged crisis there in japan. an initial -- a huge quake. a huge tsunami that followed. the nuclear crisis that they are
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still trying to keep from happening, so it's been difficult to get any sign of good news there. but this is some that after nine days, these two, been trapped nine days, were found in a house, were able to survive. could give other people hope and rescuers hope that what they are doing is not in vain and still a few people they may be able to save. we'll have more on this as we get it. but, again, update you on their conditions. other big story today, we're not going too far away from what's happening in libya. can you imagine what it's like living in tripoli right now as coalition forces are striking targets in that area. give you some perspective from a resident there. straight ahead. iving because she could afford nothing else. ethel couldn't ignore the clear need for health and financial security. and it inspired her to found aarp. for over 50 years, we've continued that work, to help all americans pursue their best life.
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welcome back to cnn's continuing coverage of the libyan situation. pope be pope benedict xvi has called for humanitarian aid in libya. now, the condition in libya itself depending on where you are, can be desperate. overnight, there is military action, and i spoke to an eyewitness, we're keeping her anonymous for obvious reasons. she said a loud explosion from a
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nearby military base woke her up and then she saw fire rising from the direction of the airport. the resident also describes hearing a barrage of anti-aircraft fire, for obvious safety reasons, we're not releasing her name. >> the last hour, there was a huge fire somewhere in the central area, it's believed it is coming down from an intelligence building. just right after the fire started we could hear ambulances and a lot, lot of police cars speeding towards where the fire started. >> and are you hearing the sound of aircraft going overhead? any anti aircraft fire from the ground? >> we couldn't hear anything after 4:00 a.m. >> right. so would you say that it was a fairly noisy night then that you suffered? >> to be honest, i was asleep.
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i woke up from the sound of the explosion. i tried to run and see what's happening, and i saw actually one of the explosions, one of the fires. a very scary thing. especially that there is an anti-aircraft shooting against it. and i saw a couple of the -- i don't know what to call it, but it was a very bright light, and i could see -- see some of it, say you them. >> how has the mood in tripoli that you can best gauge from you, your family, your friends, how is that mood shifted in the last 24 hours? >> we are not -- we haven't expected things to speed up this quickly. to be honest, most of us are still in trauma we're shocked. we're all home. we're scared. we don't know what's going to happen next. we're not scared of what the international community or what
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the -- the flights will strike. we're scared what will be the domestic reaction toward those strikes. >> in misrata, another witness says gadhafi's forces are targeting fuel and power sources, it is done to make citizens believe that it's caused by coalition forces. >> part of the war going on, a propaganda war will certainly ensue. we are covering libya and japan for the past week or so. how nice is it finally to be report going positive from japan. a glimmer of hope after two survivors were found after being trapped nine days in their home. their story and an update from japan when we come back. you are watching cnn.
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in a story that has had such misery it is nice to be able to bring you some good news. from japan now, words coming in moments ago, the red cross says two survivors of the quake and the tsunami have been found, at home in ichin omaki. an extraordinary achievement nine days after the disaster. and this makes it even more remarkable. an 81-year-old grandmother and her 16-year-old grandson. no word on their condition. but efforts to prevent a nuclear meltdown at the fukushima
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nuclear plant appear to be gaining ground. the pressure in nuclear reactor number three has stabilized. workers had planned to reduce pressure by releasing radioactive gas. that now apparently has been put off for the time being. the march 11th quake and tsunami knocked out the plant's cooling systems. the quake and tsunami have killed more than 8,200 people and a sobering facts, more than 12,000 people still missing. police say in one area, there could be up to 15,000 more bodies to be found and recovered. the japanese government will decide on monday whether to ban agricultural products from the area near the nuclear plant. why are they doing? no abnormal high levels of radiation found in spinach and milk near the plant. t.j. >> it sounds like they are able to relieve pressure in the number three reactor in the
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plant. good news they don't have to release any radioactive gas. let's get the update from brian todd live from tokyo. hello to you. the key, you have to get the power back on to get the cooling systems up and working. are we getting power back on? and does that mean some cooling systems are coming back online? >> slowly but surely, t.j. there is power on now at the number two reactor, we're told that that power has been hooked up, see if it can be effective in turning on water pumping systems to get the water into the number two reactor. the number three reactor is the real problem, of course. it has exposed fuel rods in it, pumping water through fire trucks and cranes in there. that is a little dicey. there has been a pressure issue there today. pressure rising, they were considering venting that open. possibly releasing -- having to release some radioactive materials in the area.
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the pressure receded and now they have to monitor it. the cooling, at least in one of the reactors, cooling system looks like it will be stabilized. number three reactor, when they were pumping water in yesterday, noticed near zero levels of radiation and the building was cooling down it seems like every time they make a step forward, they have a setback. this certainly bears monitoring. a couple of other details on that. we're told as you mentioned, that these two people, a 16-year-old boy and his 81-year-old grandmother arc cording to the red cross hospital, trapped in their home for about nine days. according to police, the boy then crawled somehow up to the roof. took him a long time to do that. that's when he was able to flag rescuers, various media reports now say that the boy has hypothermia, but that the grandmother is in fairly good condition. t.j. >>

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CNN March 20, 2011 6:00am-7:30am EDT


TOPIC FREQUENCY Libya 39, U.s. 27, Moammar Gadhafi 15, Benghazi 15, Gadhafi 14, Tripoli 12, France 11, Cnn 11, Us 10, United States 9, T.j. 7, Britain 6, Egypt 5, Japan 5, Nic Robertson 4, Misrata 4, Paris 4, Purina 3, Cairo 3, Clinton 3
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